Four-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is not only a world-renowned goalscorer, but is also one of the most valuable athletes in the world to brands — especially on social media.
Revered as one of the most direct players when he represented Manchester United, the Portuguese striker continued to develop at Real Madrid and has gone on to smash the club’s all-time goals record during his eight-year stint at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
He is an athlete who could have excelled at any number of sports, but football is all the richer for his presence.
Ronaldo has won all top honours at club level — from the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, and Champions League in Europe — to the 2016 European Championship with Portugal.
Unprecedented success is typically rewarded with financial gain and, in 2016 alone, Forbes estimated Ronaldo’s total earnings for the year to be $88 (£72.2) million — $56 (£45.9) million in salary/winnings and $32 (£26.3) million in endorsements.
Much of that endorsement money will have come from Nike, the global sportswear giant who agreed a $1 billion (£820 million) lifetime pact with Ronaldo in December 2016.
However exorbitant that sum appears, it certainly benefits Nike as much as it does Ronaldo.
Ronaldo “generated $500 (£410) million in value for Nike” from his social media properties in 2016 alone, meaning Nike can recuperate that initial $1 billion (£820 million) investment every two years… see more